Donald Trump officially opened the Trump International Hotel Washington, D.C. here on Wednesday with the cutting of a red ribbon under the lobby’s 200-foot glass ceiling in this city’s historic 1889-built Old Post Office.
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, his wife Melania, daughters Tiffany and Ivanka, and sons Donald Jr. and Eric each used oversized gold scissors to cut sections of the ribbon as hotel staff lined a balcony just above.
“We are going to make this one of the great hotels in the country, and I think this is going to end up being one of the great hotels of the world,” Trump told the crowd. “We have the finest location, we have the finest building.”
The 263-room hotel opened to guests in September, with only the first Spa by Ivanka Trump, a 10,000 square-foot day spa, still under construction and expected to open next month.
Prior to the ceremony, the Trumps held a press conference in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom along with Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger, who took aim at reports that Trump Hotels have been underperforming since Trump began his campaign.
“Our business continues to exceed our targets and we continue to receive great accolades,” Danziger said, calling Trump Hotels the fastest-growing luxury hotel company in the world.
Ivanka Trump, who along with Eric and Donald Jr. is an executive vice president of development and acquisitions for Trump Hotels, said the redevelopment of the Old Post Office was “perhaps the most challenging and gratifying” of all the company’s hotel projects over the last year.
“When we promised Trump would be coming to Pennsylvania Avenue in 2016, we had no idea what we were foreshadowing,” she joked.
Donald Trump, who said that with the exception of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that this was the most coveted piece of real estate in Washington, D.C., quickly turned the press conference into a campaign event, using his mantra of the hotel being “under budget and ahead of schedule” to describe what his presidency would look like.
“Today is a metaphor for what we can accomplish for this country,” he said.
In what was very unusual for a hotel opening, the event brought hundreds of television and print reporters, including those who travel with Trump as part of his presidential campaign, and both Trump supporters and protesters lined the sidewalks outside the hotel.
The hotel’s iconic tower housing the Bells of Congress is the tallest building in D.C. aside from the Washington Monument. It is home to Washington’s largest hotel suite, the 6,300-square-foot Trump Townhouse, a two-story suite with its own private entrance on Pennsylvania Ave.
In 2012, Trump Hotels secured a long-term lease with the General Services Administration, the federal government agency that owns the Old Post Office, to develop the hotel at the landmark building.
“This was the most sought-after redevelopment in the country,” Ivanka Trump said. “We fought hard to win the deal.”